B1 Intermediate 15079 Folder Collection
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You have made it to one of the most famous buildings in the world; the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
You are not the only one to see the tower though, as it is the most visited paid
monument in the world. An estimate of over 200.000.000 people has seen the tower, on
site, since its construction in 1889. The building is named after its main designer;
the French metallic structure expert and engineer, Gustave Eiffel. Eiffel had previously designed
multiple metallic structures such as several railway bridges and the armature for another
world known monument, the statue of Liberty. This time he had his eyes on construction
a metallic structure in the shape of a tower. What many people do not know is that the building
was originally planned to be in Barcelona, for the Universal Exposition in 1888, but
it was turned down as it was "too expensive and strange". Instead, Eiffel tried to build
it in Paris for the Universal Exposition in 1889, and this time the building was approved.
Fifty engineers produced over 5300 drawings of the different parts needed to build the tower.
The towers 18.000 metal parts were built separately in workshop and then assembled
on site by using more than 2.500.000 rivets. Even though the assembling was an extremely
dangerous procedure, without many of the modern safety precautions, only one man was killed
during the construction. The construction began 1887 and the tower stood finished March
31, 1889. "The Iron Lady", as it is sometimes called,
has not always been the loved structure it is today. During its planning and construction
phase, many protested against the construction of the tower. Many called it an eyesore and
the papers were filled with angry letters from the arts communities in Paris. Even after
its construction the tower was highly controversial amongst the Parisians. One famous quote is
from novelist Guy de Maupassant, who hated the tower but still went to its restaurant
every day. When asked why, he said it was because it is the only place in Paris were
one cannot see the structure. Luckily for the Eiffel tower haters, Eiffel only had permit
to keep the tower for 20 years, after that it would be demolished. However, as the tower
proved valuable for telecommunication purposes, it was allowed to remain intact even after
the time had expired. As time passed, more and more people started to like the building.
Today, almost all Parisians love the tower. Through out the years, the Eiffel tower has
seen a lot. People have tied new weird parachute innovations (more or less successful), an
elephant have been on visit inside the tower and staircase races have been conducted. The
tower also experienced the German occupation of Paris during the Second World War. During
the occupation, the lift cables inside the tower were cut by the French. This to make
sure Hitler had to take the 1665 step stairs if he wanted to scale the top, since the proper
parts to repairs the lift were impossible to obtain during the war. When visiting Paris,
Hitler remained on ground. Thus it's said Hitler conquered France, but he did not conquer
the Eiffel tower. At the liberation of Paris in 1944, the Eiffel tower became of symbol
of liberty when a French flag, made of three bed sheets sawn together, was raised on the
top of tower. The building was at its time of construction
the highest tower in the world with its 312 meters. Today, the tower totals 324 meters,
as an antenna has been added to the top. The tower weighs a massive 10.100 ton. To prevent
the metal from rusting, the tower is covered with a protective paint. Even though it can
be hard to spot, the tower is actually painted in a three-tone variation paint, with the
lightest tone on top and darker the further down it goes. This is to make sure that the
tower compliments the Paris sky as good as possible. The tower needs to be repainted
every seven years, and as you can imagine, it takes quite some time and paint to finish
the job. Each repaint takes between 15-18 months to complete and around 60 ton is required.
If you haven't already, make sure to get a glimpse of the tower by night. By night
20.000 light bulbs turns something amazing into something truly amazing.
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◄ Eiffel Tower, Paris [HD] ►

15079 Folder Collection
ABbla Chung published on September 3, 2013    Bel translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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